Ehlers heads House tech panel

Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) has been named chairman of the House Science Committee's Environment, Technology and Standards Subcommittee.

The subcommittee replaces the Technology Subcommittee and will focus on environmental issues as well as technology matters.

Ehlers, who has a doctorate in nuclear physics, is the first research physicist elected to Congress. He said he hopes to use his subcommittee chairmanship to shape science policy and funding on key science and technology issues.

Last year, Ehlers sponsored the three-part National Science Education Acts of 2000, which aimed to reform science, math, engineering and technology education from kindergarten through high school.

Since coming to Congress in 1994, he has supported increased spending on basic research, and in 1998 he helped reshape national science policy with the report "Unlocking Our Future: Toward a New National Science Policy."

A former member of the Michigan legislature, Ehlers is often credited for automating the Michigan Senate in the late 1980s. Shortly after he came to Congress, Elhers was named chairman of the House Computer and Information Services Working Group, which developed plans for increasing the use of computers and the Internet among House Republicans.

Ehlers' new committee will oversee the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

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